Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Flick Pick: The Hobbit- The Battle Of The Five Armies

The Hobbit - The Battle Of The Five Armies
(New Line/MGM, 2014)

At this point it's a unicorn, (albeit reliably sighted and photographed) but I'm listing the final sequel to the series due out this coming Christmas to my list, because as noted yesterday, Peter Jackson is not only the only director in cinematic history to deliver one flawlessly epic trilogy, but based on the evidence thus far, is set to repeat that triumph when this one concludes at the end of the year. Coupled with what will certainly be a most satisfying conclusion to this trip, I have no qualms about posting this one 11 months in advance. As far as J. R. R. Tolkien's works are concerned, Peter Jackson is the son and heir born fifty years out of time that Tolkien didn't have, and has delivered audience satisfaction and commensurate box office gross like most directors don't accomplish in fifty years of ceaseless effort. Talent like this doesn't grow on trees, but thank heavens it grows in New Zealand, and in my lifetime.


Paul Campbell said...

I've read where critics had a number of negative things to say about the first Hobbit movie. I thought it was good. When I see a movie based on a book that is well known to me, I want them to tell the story from the book. I know movies have to be done differently from books, but for me it doesn't have to be non-stop action. Just make the book come to life.

Aesop said...

Even a long movie is maybe 180 widely spaced pages of dialogue (@1 min/page), which equates to barely 60 pages of a novel. FoTR runs 300 or so pages. So eighty percent of any such novel is going to wind up on the floor, and Tolkien wasn't writing a screenplay, he was writing a novel. Jackson got that, and filled in the gaps with visual storytelling, and new story patches to transition the necessary jumps. Whiny purists seldom comprehend that. It's like trying to teach engineering to three-year-olds. And ultimately, the box office shut the critics up. Coincidentally, Jackson also, as you noted, managed to remain faithful to the story without trying to recreate what would have been a 72-hour epic Bataan Death March hobbit marathon movie. Let alone times three. Or six.